Kim Harada Places Fourth In The 50 Freestyle At The NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

March 20, 2003

AUBURN, Ala.- The Washington women's swimming team had a great showing in the opening day of the Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Martin Aquatics Center on the campus of Auburn University. The Huskies are currently in 16th place overall with 25 points and earned five All-America awards in the first day of competition.

Senior co-captain Kim Harada (San Lorenzo, Calif.) finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (22.50) after breaking her own school record in the preliminary race (22.46) by 0.23 seconds. With the fourth place finish, Harada earned All-America status and recorded the best NCAA Championship finish by a Washington women's swimmer since Jana Ellis was national runner-up in the 200 individual medley at the 1985 championships.

Harada also teamed up with freshman Sharon Olson (Weaverville, Calif.), sophomore Annette Vayo (Placentia, Calif.) and junior Melody Staubitz (Mesa, Ariz.) in the 200 freestyle relay for a fourth place finish in the consolation final and a 12th place finish overall. The team posted a time of 1:32.38 to earn honorable mention All-America honors.

'It was a great night for Husky swimming,' said head coach Mickey Wender. 'To be in 16th place after the first night without fielding a diving team is phenomenal. Kim had a great swim in the 50 free with a lifetime best time and the relay team put together a great swim as well. I am so proud of our women's team and am excited to see what else we can accomplish with five more events to go.'

The championships continue tomorrow with the Huskies competing in three events. Washington will swim both the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay but the marquee race should prove to be the 200 freestyle. Harada owns the school record in the event (1:46.87) and became the school's first Pac-10 Champion with a first place finish at the 2003 conference meet. Olson ranks second on the Husky all-time charts with a time of 1:49.55. Preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m. (CT) and finals will start at 7 p.m.

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